SVP Creative Greg Kaplan Leaving DigitasLBi

By Patrick Coffee 

Today we learned that Greg Kaplan (portfolio here), a longtime creative director and six-year veteran of the Digitas organization, will soon leave that agency for a role at the massive multinational consultancy Accenture.

We hear that he will, in fact, become the company’s first chief creative officer.

You’re surprised?

When most people hear the word Accenture, they think outsourcing…or reducing a given company’s operating costs by sending the grunt work overseas and–in many if not most cases–“streamlining” its stateside headcount. The company doesn’t use the word so much anymore, and we can certainly understand why because no one likes to get fired.

For the past couple of years, though, Accenture has been moving aggressively into the marketing space, acquiring design firms and giving AdAge quotes like this one:

“In order to capitalize on the disruptions being created by digital, and to sustain engagement with consumers, our clients need new services and experiences that are powered by technology, analytics, mobility, and scalable marketing operations.”

Translation: the company designed an interactive site and “web platform” for BMW in 2014. Here’s another recent project:

“We are helping Pizza Hut, build and operate the new cloud-based digital ordering platform to transform its customer experience and boost online sales.”

So Accenture is competing with Deloitte and Razorfish rather than Wieden + Kennedy, and a majority of its business still consists of consulting, outsourcing and consulting on outsourcing, though it has competed in some recent digital agency reviews while helping other clients run their searches. It therefore stands to reason that most of the projects overseen by Kaplan in his new role will concern design: websites, apps, e-commerce platforms, et cetera.

Accenture will not steal business from big creative agencies anytime soon, but the company will continue to produce a lot of helpful white papers!

Kaplan joined the Digitas team in 2009 after working at MRM//McCann as a group creative director on MasterCard. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade at Ogilvy, holding the creative director title and working on all of the shop’s interactive work for IBM. Earlier roles include time spent at Razorfish Amsterdam, Blue Marble and FCB.

DigitasLBi declined to comment on Kaplan’s pending departure and/or its plans to recruit his replacement.